social impact report & annual statement

BEF investment kickstarts further growth at The Great North Eastern Brewing Company

A Gateshead-based real ale brewer is set for growth after securing a £100,000 investment from Business Enterprise Fund (BEF).

Established in September 2015, The Great North Eastern Brewing Company brews real ale which it sells by the cask or keg to pubs, clubs and hotels in the north east and beyond. The business also sells direct to consumers through their brewery shop on Wellington Road, Dunston and website,

The Great North Eastern Brewing is led by Paul Minnikin, a sole director and 100% shareholder. Paul employs a team of seven who deliver over 6000 litres of ale a week to over 400 customers. This volume is a far cry from when the business launched thanks to a Start Up Loan delivered by Doug Heseltine, an investment manager at BEF.

The Start Up Loan provided Paul with working capital to fulfil his dream and begin a business in the brewing industry. This loan was the first in a series of investments that have seen BEF support the growth of this ambitious Tyneside business. Further loans supported the purchase of bottling and canning machinery, allowing the business to increase its offering and to venture into new markets.

Additional support helped the business during the Coronavirus pandemic as it responded to serving one of the hardest hit sectors – hospitality. The support helped protect jobs while the business repositioned its offering and generated revenue through other means.

The Great North Eastern Brewing is now set for growth in the volume supply market thanks to a further investment of £100,000. The investment provided working capital to expand sales to hospitality businesses based in Edinburgh, York, and the lake district, with the business recently being added to the suppliers list at a leading high street pub chain. The expansion will be complemented by the provision of canning, kegging, and bottling services to other local breweries.

This latest investment will lead to further job creation while turnover is expected to increase by 50%.

Paul Minnikin, director, The Great North Eastern Brewing said: “I have dealt with Doug Heseltine for 7 years now and would like to say that this business would not be at the stage it is without his help and the help of BEF hopefully the business will continue to grow so credit is due to you.”

Doug Heseltine, Senior Investment Manager at BEF, said: “BEF enjoy a longstanding relationship with Paul and The Great North Eastern Brewing Company. It is extremely pleasing to see one of my first ever clients still doing well. Every time I catch up with Paul, he has always exceeded what he intended with the latest round of funding. I wish him continued growth and success.”

Do you require flexible finance for your business?

Find out more about Start Up Loans for businesses in the North East.

Find out more about our dedicated team of Investment Managers in North East.

Related Posts

Enjoyed this post? Keep reading with more posts from our BEF North East category.